Video Week! pt. 2: Animation

Many years ago, an iPad 2 was purchased. This would have been 2011-ish. At the time things were going pretty good and Apple was at the crest of its cultural rise. We ourselves were for our main computing needs using an outdated but still very useful Mac tower and were having good results filming open mic sets with our new iPod shuffle (with camera). It seemed a full transition to Apple products was perhaps inevitable; the iPad 2 was intended to make music recording mobile. Instead of dragging around the 4 track or relying on Zoom handhelds, we figured it might be useful to have a portable recording studio around. We thought it would be perfect to record practices, shows, or do pro sounding tracking in the rehearsal space. It wasn’t.

Call it a lesson on doing research in advance. The iPad 2 did not come with GarageBand preinstalled, and had to be purchased as a separate app. When we finally got it on the machine, it was clear, and obvious in hindsight, that it was not the full version, but one specifically tailored for the iPod 2’s capabilities. Downloading beats and instruments was a whole frustrating process that we never really finished. Connecting the audio inputs to the iPod 2 was near impossible. We bought and returned two $40 adapters before giving up entirely. We’d basically just wasted $400 on the machine. Things were better those days, but that was still a lot of money. Six years prior, this would have bankrupted us, but we managed to absorb the blow with just some wounded pride. We emerged stronger, wiser, and a lifetime hatred of Apple products. We have not bought one since.

One thing we could do with our very expensive paperweight, however, was basic animations. We did a handful over a couple months before moving on to other things, and here are some of the best. We set them to some of the early ambient music that was coming out of the studio at that point, as we halfheartedly tried to get good at animating. It was ultimately too time consuming for what we would have needed to do with it, and it fell off as so many things do.

This is fine, of course, we were grownups at that point and had come to understand that artistic projects come and go like waves, some come in and some go out, sometimes overlapping, sometimes not, but always cycling. There’s always more coming, and there are always some that will just be gone forever.

We used the iPad 2 periodically over the next few years until the summer of 2016, when it fell off a bedside table in the Washington DC suburbs and its screen cracked, rendering it unusable. We made a couple of uninspired attempts to sell it for $10 on craigslist before putting it in a drawer and forgetting about it. By the time we moved out of the Apartment it was gone – nobody was really sure quite when we got rid of it or how, but thanks to the sturdy construction and robust constitution of Apple devices, it is probably in some landfill somewhere, buried under sludge but likely still mostly intact.

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